The demolition of the former Fox Plaza in on Bloomington's west side has cleared the way for construction of the new Market Street Plaza.
“This step frees up the property for us to be able to actually purchase the property to move the project forward,” said West Market Street Council President Arthur Haynes.
Demolition began July 2 with a short ceremony. Haynes explained demolition of the old plaza was symbolic to the community because of all the bad things that have happened there over the years, including the fatal shooting of Haynes’ friend, Antonio Perry, in 2002.
“We have envisioned a two-story, nonprofit building that will house a full-service grocery store, and above that building there will be community resources, educational training sites, job training sites, things of that nature,” said Haynes.
The West Market Street Council is buying the property from owner Rajesh Kumar. Construction of the new plaza is expected to begin soon.
The West Bloomington Market grocery store will address a food desert in west Bloomington, create jobs and provide a place where area farmers can sell their produce.
Architectural drawings for the West Market Street Plaza came out in February, and the plans include solar power.
“The project is estimated at $6 million, so at some point we are going to need $6 million. We don’t really have a dollar amount or a goal amount to raise, we are just really looking at the overall project,” Haynes said on WGLT’s Sound Ideas.
To help fund the project, you can donate online through the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.
Listen to the rest of the interview below:
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